November 26, 2019
Over my 40 year military career, I had the privilege to lead a Marine platoon in Vietnam, serve as the 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps, and lead all NATO forces as Supreme Allied Commander- Europe. I later served as National Security Advisor to the President and now serve on Spirit of America’s Advisory Board.
I have seen the threats to America’s security grow more difficult, diverse, and complex: ISIS and a multitude of terrorist groups, Russia, China, and rogue states like Iran and North Korea. The freedom we enjoy, and that generations of Americans have fought to defend, is not guaranteed.
Our military is absolutely critical but it can’t do it alone. To prevail, America needs all elements of national power, including our citizens. That’s why I feel so strongly about Spirit of America’s contribution and its unique model of citizen service.
The idea of citizens as elements of national power may surprise you. People often think of our military hardware as the source of America’s power. Power has a simpler definition: power is the ability to act.
With its private-sector speed and flexibility, the team at Spirit of America helps our troops act and produce results quickly. It helps our diplomats and other US personnel act and produce results, too. Actions speak louder than words and Spirit of America is all about action.
Spirit of America offers another kind of power too: America’s power of inspiration. To strengthen our security, we must bring more people to our side. To do that, we must speak to their aspirations. With Spirit of America’s assistance, our troops can demonstrate that friendship with the United States is the best path to a free and better life.
Spirit of America’s impact is well known in conflict zones like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Spirit of America’s support has saved lives and limbs, and helped our troops stop the suffering caused by adversaries like the Islamic State.
Less well known is Spirit of America’s impact in places that are not in the headlines. Spirit of America has helped US Special Operations Forces prevent war in West Africa. In Eastern Europe, Spirit of America is strengthening America’s relationships with our friends, partners, and allies on the front lines of Russian aggression.
Thank you for your support of Spirit of America. It is the only way you can directly help our servicemembers come home safely and proud of their success. To secure the blessings of liberty, our citizens must participate. I hope you’ll continue to be part of our team of citizens serving the nation.
James L. Jones
General, United States Marine Corps (Retired)